eMail is dead?


95% of online consumers use email

91% of consumers reported checking their email at least once a day

eMarketer estimates the US adult email audience will reach 188.3 million in 2013 and will continue to climb to 203.8 million by 2017

58% of people spend more time per week in their email inbox than any other digital activity— including Facebook and texting

For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.

*statistics reported by SalesForce

7 Common Marketing Mistakes

When marketing your product or service, you need to have a firm understanding of your audience, the message you want to deliver, the offer youíre willing to make, and the optimal timing for your marketing campaign.

Too often novice marketers, even marketing veterans, make costly mistakes that result in poor performance of their marketing campaign. Common marketing mistakes can be avoided with adequate planning, attention to detail, and ongoing measurement and evaluation.

If you are considering a traditional marketing campaign, an Internet marketing campaign, or something thatís never been tried before, be sure to avoid these common marketing mistakes.

  1. Timing. You may have a great list, a fantastic offer, and even a well designed marketing piece, but if your timing is off, so too will be your results. As an experienced marketer, I have seen some very expensive marketing campaigns that were very compelling but failed to produce results. This is because the campaign reached consumers at a time in which they had no interest in buying the product. For example, trying to sell snow shovels in July would not be considered good timing.
  2. Failure to Test Your Headline. As the first thing your prospect usually reads, the headline is essential for luring your prospective buyer into the message, your offer, and the action you want them to take. The headline is vital. Regardless of the medium, you should continually test your headlines (or subject lines) by running split tests and evaluating response. This ensures that your marketing message attracts the largest number of prospective buyers.
  3. Failure to Test Your Offer. In direct marketing, the offer is directly correlated to 40% of your response. If you have the right offer, people respond. There are other factors to consider as well, but providing a compelling offer is required in most instances. Offers can range from discounts to hurry while supplies last, but the commonality remains. Test your offers for optimizing response.
  4. Having a Good List. Having the best offer and award-winning design is not enough. For many types of marketing campaigns, success is directly tied to having a targeted list. With today’s sophisticated list generation tools, you can acquire lists that are highly segmented based on demographics, psychographics, buying behavior, and many other characteristics. The key here is not to be penny wise and pound foolish. If you’re wondering where to invest your marketing dollars, spend them on developing a good house list (names you acquire on your own) or by renting/purchasing a well segmented marketing list.
  5. Relying on a Single Communication. On average, consumers are hit with over 2,000 marketing messages everyday. In fact, recent studies have indicated that consumers need to see your marketing message an average of 12 times before they take notice. If there is any truth to the claim in part or in whole, it means that you must communicate to prospects on a regular basis. Placing a single ad in the newspaper or sending a single email cannot deliver effective results. Determine the media that prospects use to gather information and develop an ongoing campaign that works within your budget.
  6. Not Measuring Campaign Effectiveness. Over time, your business is going to do a lot of marketing. Even if you are a small business wondering how you’re going to communicate to a prospective audience, you’re going to eventually have some type of communication. Regardless of the marketing campaign size or expense, you need to track your results. This can be done with a simple spreadsheet or a multi-million dollar CRM system. The bottom line is you need to record what works and what doesn’t so that you can improve your results in the future.
  7. Failure to Continue the Dialogue. After consulting for a number of large & small companies, I’m still amazed at how many fail to communicate to customers on an ongoing basis. Often times, consumers or businesses only hear from the seller when its time to buy again. If you have an established customer base, chances are you’ve worked hard to acquire them. You should be spending some of your marketing budget to retain them. Be sure to open a dialogue with customers, solicit their feedback, and communicate with them regularly. This will help to build your business over the long-term.

If you’re new to marketing, have experience as a marketing professional, or simply want to improve your current marketing results, be sure to learn from the mistakes of others. To be successful, continually work towards improving your marketing effectiveness. Avoid the 7 most common marketing mistakes, and you’re on your way to delivering tangible results.

Postcard Marketing

Creating and mailing business post cards is a logical choice when your small business has a small advertising budget.

Here are five factors to consider:

1. Your data base list of customers might well be under 500 names.

The traditional method is that you can manage this list yourself on your computer and print out mailing labels. And since there are so few names, you won’t have to hire a mailing company to affix the labels, sort by zip code and take it to the post office for you. There is a way around licking stamps, keep reading.

2. Our advantage as small businesses is in cultivating a personal relationship with our customers. This holds true whether your business is entirely local or operates in a special business niche market on the national or international level.

A post card is intimate and immediate. Emotionally, who can resist reading a colorful post card? Especially those with a nice glossy front side with a compelling message. It’s almost impossible NOT to read at least part of it. Merging the name field from your database can personalize the message, creating an increased level of intimacy.

3. Postcards are a private communication between you and your client so your competition has no idea of what you are doing.

There is no “waste” circulation since only those on your mailing list are included. This will produce better results for the post card, especially when compared to those you get from the “mass media” of newspapers, magazines, etc.

4. We are all receive flyers, circulars and advertising mail whose print runs are measured in the millions. By default, they set creative standards that we feel we should equal or exceed in our own efforts.

Since you have so few names to spread across paying for high-level creative services and long-run printing, these services become prohibitive on a cost per address basis. But thanks to digital technology, the creative, printing and mailing costs have been reduced to where they are well within reach of almost anyone.

5. Postcards are a wonderfully fast and efficient way of getting specific messages delivered in a permanent format to your own mailing list and other specific mailing lists you have purchased.

Your postcard can generate immediate response or can be easily set side as a reminder for future action.

These are just five of many factors you will want to consider as part of placing business post card mailings on your list of advertising tactics for your small business.